Artes Moriendi – ways of dying

A performative birthday party on death.

In english, italian, spanish and german.

A group of young people in a closed room, celebrating what looks like a children’s birthday party.
They are not exactly friends, but know each other and lines of tension, power and
affection slither among them. They are waiting for someone.
As they wait, the celebration turns to a part morbid, part farcical examination of their own deaths through games, questions and accidents.
As the evening drifts, the game slowly dissolves the group, until Raquel, who they were waiting for, arrives and puts an end to the “show”.

The last dance

We think there’s never a better time to think about death, since it’s coming for all of us.
In 15th century Europe, a time that kept the memory of death being everywhere, be it feudal wars, mercenaries, famines or the Plague, appeared Artes Moriendi, Arts of dying. These short essays developped when time was often too short for a cleric to come and give the last Sacrament. They were filled with recommendations on how to die best and come off clear as the Last Judgement loomed on them.

“You have here noticeable doctrine to well end one mortal life / Dance of death it is called / That every one learns to dance”.

Yet we are not equal in front of death. Some die at home, some away from home, some can ward off death, some can’t. Rich and poor, here and over there, we don’t die of the same death.
We look at the rituals we still have to talk about death and make them visible, in their sharp, injust or tragi-comic forms.

Show history:

Performers: Emiliano Passaro, Gabriela Turano, Ivanna Sol Barbagallo, Tanja Watoro, Raquel Grela (a dog’s heart theater) and Ailin Formia
Stage Direction: Federico Schwindt
Dramaturgy and Text: Marie Yan (a dog’s heart theatre)
Costume Design: Jojo Shone
Production Assistance: Karen Ka Wan Cheung
Costume Assistance: Claire-Marie McQuillan